Monday 6 November 2023

The Crask Inn, Crask. near Lairg, Sutherl;and, North East Scotland

 Evening Readers - assuming there are any of you left......before I start I should add a quick caveat. So I know that even my my own cacky handed mismanagement of my own out put that my first blog post this year taking place in November 2023 is somewhat taking the piss. And am sorry about that. Apart from a recent op and a few holidays there really aren't any reasosn let alone excuses - its just that I haven't. Its nothing personal I promise.

So back in the 1990s my central heating bust in late November and for a number of reasons we didn#'t manage to get it fixed pre Chrimbo. We all wnt home at the same and my mate came back into the freezinjg house for one night before coming home. I returned on what I think was the 28th and found a frozen glass of water onh the side. It was so cold when I went to bed that night I had to turn the TV round so its back faced me to get heat and I slep fully clothed in a sleepoing bag covered in blankets. That morning haing turned it back round I saw footage taken outside the Crask Inn showing at what I thought was minus 36 making it the coldest place in the UK ever. Sadly the met office have a weather station aat possibly Tallus a few miles away which measured it lower, but I never forgot about this. And then my life happened.

A few years ago I jokingly asked WK if he fancied driving me the 509 miles to Crask - surprisingly he seemed interested but insusted he definitely wasn't promising. I started following - and still do - the Crask Inn on Faceache. I was quite shocked to hear that the pub was to be sold to the Scotttish Episcopa;ian church abd told WK. On my birthday he said if I could get the first week in July off he would take us. I did. And he did.

We stayed the firsdt night in Glasgow - starting our drinks at the Old Toll Bar, a large N.I pub about a mile away from our hotel. Years ago they sold one or two cask beers - this has thankfully been replaced by at least 6 Craft Kegs. I know both WK and I got a pint of Black Isle each and possibly also a pint of Camper Van but there were plenty of crackers in the range!

After we made the lengthy trek through the pissing rain to the fabullous bon Accord where WK got a pint of sunshine on Keith which may be Spey Valley and I know I got the same and another Spey Valley. Was last in the Bon Accord in 2009 and it didn't seem to have changed much!

Next to last was my first visit to the Pot Still - WF and Frank Glasgow (as I call him ) both recommended and we may have been on Loch Lomond - am sadly not in a position right now to confirm if either of us tried any of the ridiculous range os shiskeys.

Our dinal stop was little further along the road to the Shilling Brewery Tap. Along with a few of their own they also sold about 6 kegs and 12 cans of the fabulous Overtone. Me and WK shared truly fantastic hagguis pizzas and it was a short walk back to the hotel.

The next day it was a short wander round Glasgow before we got off to find the motorway and were soon travelling up the coast on the A9 - just 256 miles or similar to Crask. An early chat with new manager Shane presented us we thought with mints and dough Balls at half 6 - and after two Waterfall stops and a trundle down a lengthy single track A Road we finally arrived about 18000. Soon into our included evening meal it turned out that mints was instead mince - and bloody nice it was too - and we got chatting to a few other guests and afterwards made it into the bar.

Am not going to pretend that I wasnt disappointed upon discovering they no longer stocked Black Isle Beers on their two keg lines - Shane told us that they had discovered it was difficult to control their beers and so they now only stocked Isle of Skye beers - a pint of Gold and a pint of Dark for me ans WK. They also appeared to stock their full range of cans and bottles, which was a pleasant surprise.

Later Shane asked me why had visited - so I told him everything - including my horror at its upcoming sale to the church. shane pointed out it had already been sold and was already a church - a fact I was surprised at = ni his defence Shane asked if I had noticed any churchiness = I had to admit I hadn't.

we stayed for three nights in all - the first full day a trip to the Casser;ey falls followed by a nearer waterfall and finished by a wander up to Tongue. The Highlands guide said both of the two premises in Toungue sold real ale but the hotel had been sold and served keg in the bar - I opted for a pint of Black Isle at about 3.7% and something like £8 a pint before heading to he Ben Loyal - here I was told the handpumps hadn't been able to stand the recent high temperatures so they had stopped selling real ale. Its a shame because both served a good number of kegs but sadly not cask from the past

After a further excellent tea we once again spent a couple of hours back in the Crask Inn bar where we chatted to Shane's wife - sadly both myself and WK are unable to recall her name but enjoyed chatting to her none the less. Shane and his family had moved about 6 months ago to Sutherland from Alabamha - his wife said she loved the haggis and black and white pudding and venison and also that the only difference between there and here was that 15 degrees was colder - I said we would speak to her next year after her first highland winter!

The next day we drove don to Arrochar where we stopped in a large hotel hoping to visit the Village Inn. Sadly it was not possible to eat there so we ate at the hotel and then walked down to the Village Inn for one of about 4 real ales - mostly Fyne Ales. The Village Inn was a regular stop off for WF so even thopugh we could not eat there it was still noce to get back.

Next we headed - actually am not sure when - tp the Grog and Gruel in Fort William - this may well have been before Glencoe? A couple for me in there were very nice either way. We also stopped off in Ayr at the Chestnuts Hotel - not least to shelter from the rain - and I enjoyed a pint before me and WK returned to Culzean Castle to see the spot where WF and Grandad's ashes are scattered, before we ended up in Dumfries. On my last visit had visited the New Bazaar at the side of the river - now sadly closed.

We started at the Douglas Arms where they had a fabulous range of cask on and Drygate Gladeye IPA and others on keg. We then poped out for tea before finishing our night in the fantastic Riverside Tap, a bar selling about 8 keg ales including at least two Tempest and possible two Overtone - one of which was a fantastic DIPA!

Overall it was obviously very tiring for WK so am very much in appreciation of uis efforts and on every level, I have to say I enjoyed every where we visited and especially the Crask Inn at Crask!


Wee Beefy 

Friday 30 December 2022

A night out in sunny Sheffield!

 Afternoon readers - long time no write I admit!

Yesterday was my day off and I decided to make my first ever trip to the Itchy Pig up at Banner Cross - its been open a year or so (possibly) and I felt I deserved a look...

I was quickly into town on the peasant tractor, and after much guesswork I figured out where the Ecclesall Road busses left from, and walked a long way up the side of Arundel Gate to find a timetable free bus stop - although to be fair I didn't wait long for the 88, and the driver assured me he was going to Banner Cross. Within 15 minutes had got off at a building numbered near that of the Itchy Pig, but  having worked out it was on the other side of the road I popped in the Banner Cross Hotel.

Inside they had a choice of 4 cask from the past, but nothing I wanted to taste on keg, but I opted for a pint of Moonshine at £3.90 a pint and sat by myself at a big table ignoring the darts being shown on a big screen - the pub was quite busy, but I didn't linger long.

Accross Ecclesall Road and up I found the Itch Pig and was likewise pleased to discover a good range of real ales on cask (ftp) along with an excellent range of Keg. I started on a pint of Torrside and Grizzly Grains collab at 4.8% on cask called Big Words, and sat at one of the tables near the entrance. Its notable that the door needs to be closed properly to stop it partially opening once you are in, and sadly about 3 people entering and sitting at the back did not maanage this, but I was more observant of how popular it was! There were absolutely loads of people after about ten minutes!

Next up was a p[int of Azvex Disco Castle pale ale at 4.2% on keg from the future and that was likewise excellent - got chatting to two gents sat near me and I asked them if it was feasible to walk to the Rising Sun at Nether Green and they assured me it was. After some early confusion about direction I found the first turn on my directopms but sadly not the next...

After stopping somebody I headed for what I thought was Carrington Road but nevertheless ended up on Rustlings road before finding Oakbrook Road to clamber up - sadly I did not find Nethergreen road but I did make it up to Ranmoor on Fullwood road and so I was soon at the Rising Sun.

This pub was likewise very busy and I started on a pint of Abbeydale Black Mass at 6.6% on cask from the past, and found an empty table to sit at viewing the crowd of people who were drinking - and drinking only - as the kitchen was closed.

After finishing my cftp I had a whole pint of Deliverance on keg - with Sabro, Talus and HBC 472 in a gloriously hoppy IPA with Yakima Chief! I will say that the cask was quite expensive - I know am way out with my desire not to pay more than a pound a percent but the Black Mass was £5.40 a pint on cask from the past - a style in which my experience is that its always far cheaper...

Leaving for the 120 I was soon heading down West Street and got off half way along to head onto Trippet Lane. I popped into the Dog and Partridge for one and had another Sheffield brewed pint - Abbeydale Hibernator pale on cftp and it was delicious!

I finished my night in the Shakespeares where I know I had another pint of Electric Bear also on cftp, although am unsure what I had next - am guessing a pale...

So, 5 busy pubs, one new route, and plenty of excellent beers to plug the gap between Christmas and New Year in fine, sunny, Sheffield!


Wee Beefy

Friday 2 September 2022

A new road named beer fest

 Afternoon yall. Long time no read eh?

Later am going to the West Bar Triangle beer festival - but 3 or 4 weeks ago I went to the Abbeydale Road beer festival - here]'s what I encounteerd.

The day before I had met a chap in S.M.o.t.D whose name I have forgotyten - he said he may be interested in going to the Abbeydale Road beer festival, and despite my concerns that it was all Sheffield beers (not all of them are good lets not fiorget) I opted to start at about 1400 - at the Beer Engine. Which is not on Abbeydale Road. As ever the beer was ace - a Black IPA at 6.7% from Phantom brewing, which I enjoye sat in the sushine in the garden.

From there I snaked my way along the back streets before coming out accross from the Cremorne - not been in for a few years and I had an excellent half of track on Cftp. And then I started - sort of. Jabarwocky (AKA Jabeerwocky) is right at the end of London Road. Sat in the beer garden you can see the Abvbeydale Road Sign - and talking to Chris the licensee - they weren't invited. So I got a whole pint of Kernel IPA at 7.1% on keg from the future and sat in the beer garden with Peter Hudson - who had just finished the Abbeydale Road Beer Festival.I have to say we were both gobsmacked that this wasn't part of the same. Cracking pub.

I officially started just over the road at the Bear. It was packed. I queued to get in, and saw the drunkest lass I think have ever seen. Its important to point out that I too get drunk sometimes - there's a reason why am called the Beefdozer - but having watched her clamber the stairs from the back room with 6 glasses on her hands and arms, half of whivich she dropped, one of hwhich the barman saved), I felt I had to ask her who she was and where she had been.

she was a Sheffield lass called Sarah who had spent a long time at school and uni in Lancaster. She claimed to have done the who;e festivel and to be heading home soon. A man from the saaaaarf joined us and she quickly stole his half and downed it and fell out of the door. I said " I think that lass has gone" He said " I reckon she already was gone!". I supped and left shortly after this - in all the excitement I sadly forget what I had but there was a pint of it - maybe Loxley?

Next to the equally rammed Dead Donkey - in here am certain I was on BbNo and had a pint of their session IPA also on kftf. I got the last seat inside and watched the crowds of drinkers outside.

I avoided Tap & Snap because it looked like an 18-30 bar in Menorca and instead popped into Turners. Inside they had a good range of S.M.o.t.D on and I saw the fabulous Kieron Turney who had come in with some former pupils (now in their early 20's!). It was great to catch up with Mr Turney whilst enjoying what may have been the excellent Laska Pils, and it's such a long time since I last went in there I have to mention how much it has changed!

Next to a new pub to mme - The Barrow Boy. In here I received my first stamped card, and had a pint of Heist from kftf. I also got a table and sat in the melee in relative calm! My first trip wa much appreciated.

Next was the most disapointing venue - the Picture House Social. It was so dark when I got in that I walked carefully and slowly to the bar - and then couldn't see what was on. When the lass told me I asked her which brewery they were (they may have all been Thornbridge?) she didn't know but once aware I bought a half and slithered aimlesly towards what I hoped was a seat. Mr H later said that there was a festival bar on the left in a brightl;ylit room - but obvs, I couldn't see it!

Penultimate stop was Two Thirds - which was also busy. I got a pint of Triple Point and what was Sheffield Brewery People's Republic of IPA - initially I had to stand at the last available table but when the guy came to collect the glasses I asked him for a chair and he got me one straight away!

Having missed the Little Critters at Gin Bar as I assumed they would all be in bottle, which they weren't) I finished in the Broadfield, where I had an excellent pint of Abbeydale Voyager IPA on keg from the future!

I went straight home from, there and then on the Tuesday was discussing it with a chap who worked at the Broadfield - he said he appreciated the funds but was dissapointed to find it was mainly all Sheffield beers - not least becuase they are very prevalent in Sheffield. We discussed the suggestion of a whole West Bar beer festivalm - and that is wehere am going in an hour!


Wee Befy

Tuesday 28 June 2022

Derbyshire, Cheshire and a touch of Staffordshire.....

 Evening all!

         on Sunday I was collected by my great friend Mr G for our next crawl around the best pubs in Derbyshire (and beyond). Having failed last time to adequately check out the George ta Alstonefield (lost to food and no beer) I was determined to get this right. I googled the Crag Inn at Wildboarclough and found that it had doubled up as still a pub but mainly as a water bar - having found a spring on the property. According to Whatpub it was still a pub and served two real ales. I decided to go.

After an hour and twenty minutes we arrived in the glen like Wildboarclough and turned into the Crag Inn car park. We spotted folks sat outside with beers so assumed everything was fine - and got in and found they no longer sell drauught beer, or any other draught drinks. They did however sell bottles from Nearby Wincle brewery, although, not from the fridge, and we sat down with a bottle each of Wandering Wallaby and chatted. Whilst there about 20 people came in asked what they sold on draught - qall were told the answer was none. Having passed through a room end and corrridor of bottled water I visited the loo - finding handwash but only a single wet towel to dry my hands on. Whilst Mr G went to the same I asked the guy behind the lit, blue bar, what the deal was re it being a pub - he said they hadn't been a pub for two years, and now no longer sold real ale. Sound familiar?

Back in the car I recalled this to Mr G and he said - we could have paid £15 each for a mineral water e3xperience. But who would?

Driving into Wincle we lost connection to the Sat Nav and for some reason my phone so we asked a couple sat outside the Ship if they knew where Wincle Brewery was - luckily it was just down the road on the right in Danebridge! Soon there they had a tasting room selling a large number of bottles and three handpulled beers - I went on a pint of Wincle Hen Cloud andf a half of Straight Furrowand Mr G a half of Hen Cloud and we basked in the sunshine outside. An excellent stop.

Next we drove into Macclesfield and quickly found and parked accross from the excellent Red Willow Tap. Three real ales and about 14 kegs saw Mr G on alcohol free lager and myself on a pint of their 6.7% IPA! lovely place, and selling excellent Black pudding and mustard crisps, after a half of the sadly disappointing  Kernel Porter, we used Mr G's phone to walk up to the Park Tavern on Park Road about 5 minutes away.

This is a pub ran by Bollington Breweryu and they had about 8 of their beers on, including on Keg. I went for a pint of their Eastern nights with Mr G on a soft drink before heading back to the car. One thing I will say about the Park Tavern is that it was drearily dark sinside - yet on the way out down a passage behind the bar there was a lovely, bright - yet empty - room, at the front.

Our last stop was the pub of the night - the excellent Three Stags Heads at Wardlow Mires. First visit for may years and sadly I was unable to see Pat after the sad passing of Geoff on Good Friday. The range is similar but two Abbeydale and two guests - I started on the Black Lurcher (obvs) and Mr G a half of Deception. Was absolutely fabulous to catch up with former Barman/or/Landlord Robin, whom I had a good chat with!

Just one note btw - as I always remember - the pub is cash only - just for info!

Mr G dropped me in town and I got a tram to the Welly for a pint of Kernel and then went to Tesco for scran and ended up in Shakespeares, where I saw the lovely Abbeydale couple of Jim and Laura.

Anoother fabulous and enjoyable day out with my mate.


Wee Beefy

Thursday 2 June 2022

Alstonefield to Bargate crawl

Afternoon there,

      as is a regular occurrence, have been out with Mr G for an evening drive in Derbyshire and Staffordshire again - sadly Mr G got stuck in traffic travelling from Manchester so  did not pick me up until about 1800 but using his ever reliable sat nav we trailed through the peaks to our first stop at the George, Alstonfield.

I have to admit that I only glanced at the Whatpub page of the same so knew it would be open when we arrived - sadly, not as a pub, instead a restaurant. Stumbling in through the darkness we went through the door to the bar to be asked if we had booked a table - whilst viewing the cloth covered handpumps I explained we had come for a pint - and was told they hadn't been a pub for two years! We were told to head for the Watts Russel at the top of Hopedale which is where we were headed anyway. By now Mr G was ready for a drink....

Soon we pulled up at the Watts Russel - for only my second visit. They had Thornbridge Jaipur and Lord Marples on cftp along with a guest, so Mr G had a half of the Lord Marples and myself two pints of Jaipur - I was thirsty by that stage too! The pub was filled mainly with diners but we got a seat each and enjoyed our refreshments.

Next we used the Sat Nav to take us to the nearby Old Dog at Thorpe - a pub I have tried to go in twice previously, both times finding it closed. Sadly, nothing has changed it seems - the sign stated "temporarily closed". We carried on it to Ilam and headed out to Ashbourne to refuel. We didn't find a petrol station but we did make it to the Queens Vaults.

Two pints on cask (from the past ) and a few national keg brands and I had a pint of each with Mr G on soft drinks. King George's bitter at 4% from littleover Brewery and a pint of Peakstones Rock Wayman's Milk Stout at 5.4% were enjoyed whilst observing the quiter Thursday city centre shenanigans in Ashbourne!

Into Belper next to refuel, and a first ever visit to Angels Micropub off the market square. In here Mr G was back onto soft drinks and I had a pint of Nice Weather from Dancing Duck, whilst we enjoyed a pork pie each and fussed a lovely dog sat next to us.

Our final stop was not far away - the White Hart at Bargate. Only my second visit here and I had one pint - in two halves - of Shiny DIPA, - perhaps called Praise the Sun? Delicious at 8% on keg from the future, although am a little disappointed to have to have it it two halves!

Once more Mr G was very efficient at reaching all the pubs - including those closed - and even though it took him so long to drive to pick me up am glad to say that he got home in good time and a good state! Its grim new about the George, I have to admit, but sadly a kot changed in the loackdowns and this is another example. The Old Dog appeared to sell a good range but hopefully that will reopen again soon - and I may make my first ever visit!

The very best of health

Wee Beefy  

Wednesday 11 May 2022


 Evening readers - long time no see, I admit....

But am here now so.....

Hops eh kids? What are they? Like the future, it seems, some people, will never know.....

     last night I was in the Bar Stewards micropub and bottle shop in Sheffield for a CAMRA pub of the month. I got chatting to a bloke have known for well over 25 years, and described to him that I really liked the Gibraltar Triangle - on being asked I confirmed that this was Shakespeares, The Stewards and The Crow.

" you like the Crow then do you ?" he asked. I confirmed. He said he had only been in once and didn't like it as he couldn't find anything he wanted to drink. I assured him that they sold four cask ales as well as kegs and cans just like here - I pointed to the bar and he said " I don't like Abbeydale Heathen - its vile". A bit surprised I asked why. " well its an American style pale" I told him that I had enjoyed the Grizzly grains for three pints and he said it wasn't bad because he hadn't expected to like it because it had Citra hops in it, which he didn't like. He hates Citra Hops. He suggested it was maybe due to Azacca - a hop he had never heard of which sounded Spanish or Mexican......

He also advised he didn't try anything with Mosaic hops in - as he hated them - a trifle surprised at his dislike of one of the original foreign hop brands, as well as his dislike of one of the popular newer hop types I asked him if he liked any Sheffield beers - admittedly a bit of an over-reaction on my part!

He admitted he liked their Moonshine - although that surely has hops init? I asked him what he thought of Abbeydale's 8.5% Rye DIPA in cans and he said "oh no I wouldn't know about that". I found it strange that his principal hatred of any beers featuring Citra or Mosaic and likely also in cans or keg, was based on a lack of tolerance - and perhaps knowledge, of hops.

I worry of course that this maybe my age as am a child like 48, the type of people I go drinking with whom all love hoppy beers or sours ( I din't even bother asking about that !) or whether perhaps my preferences subdued the sensibility of my reaction. But - even though he admitted to being "an old fuddy-duddy about beer" - I couldn't avoid the old fashioned reaction to modern beers.

As I may have told you previously - having met at least three separate CAMRA member reactions to my purchase of " Evil keg" I have received some frankly ridiculous reactions to my buying keg with my own money which is my right - including having blokes I had never met chanting " Evil keg, Evil Keg" at me at an IPA Tap Takeover in Shakespeares,  and being told by a man I had never met at the Bath Hotel on finding out my beer was Keg that he had tasted keg in the seventies and had refused to try it ever again. It was 2016.....

Am not suggesting that my mate or these (and many other keg haters) represent fully the outlook of all  CAMRA members,  but I realise that one of the criticisms agsint them is not only that they appear stuck in the  past, but also that they are full of exclusively old people. The youngest man there was probably about the same age as me. The average age must have been 60. Seems a trifle - predictable?

Even when a man in his late 60s did the description of the pub he only described their 4 excellent cask ales - and then said he wasn't willing to get into an argument about the keg and cans they also sold. What is there to argue about? Surely just list the different reasons people like it? Pretending that a product doesn't exist is not a viable attack on the seemingly ghastly threat of keg on traditional beer is it.....

Sheffield CAMRA of course have a keg bar at their annual beer festival - a brilliant and in terms of previous incumbents groundbreaking change of availability which respected the likes and opinions of every single visitor whilst not in any way undermining the high sale of traditional cask. Of course the team received lots of written abuse from anonymous persons who considered it heresy to invite the vile sewage of future drinks into their glorious beer festival, but hey.......

Despite this odd approach to describing and praising a venue I should say a very well done anyway to the Stewards for their second pub of the month award.

Many congratulations!

Your kindest regards

Wee Beefy

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Two new bars ( to me )

 Long time no see readers!

             I wanted to quickly update you on two new places have visited in Sheffield recently. As you may all be well aware there are a number of new venues in Sheffield - some of which have still not bothered visiting - but last month myself and Wee Keefy went out on a Friday night starting at the Beer engine on London road.

Its not a regular place for me to visit recently alas but I got a pint of Buxton IPA on kftf and WK a pint of beer on cask from the past - and we supped these sat in the garden. From here we went to Jabeerwocky for pints and lovely food ( WK was on their excellent fries with Goulash and that was immense!) before heading over tyhe road for my first visit to Bear on Abbeydale Road.

I think in the past this was called Shipyard Books or similar - it was certainly a book shop for many years - and now its a small two roomed bar serving about 5 beers on Keg, along with a fairly excellent range of beers including a stout wall, containing some excellent brews.

As we were on a crawl we only stopped for the one in here but I went for a pint of Verdant Even Sharks need water, which was cloudy and delicious. We sat at a small table looking out of the window at the restaurant on the other side of the road and I had a quick search of the beers on offer to take out - I ended up with a can of " Bring me the head of John the accountant" from Sureshot brewing - a DIPA which currently lives in my fridge. Am thinking that I may try it tonight, along with other delights.

The room behind the bar is small and comfortable and there is - crucially - a loo - I was in it whilst two people walked in and asked to use it - and had to leave! We finished off our pints quite quickly before heading off to our final stop at the Dead Donkey - definitely a place I will pop into again.

The second place is on the first floor of the Krynkle building at Shalesmoor. I remember that years ago there was a roof top bar - it was fairly dreadful if am honest - so have not been in again since apart from back in February where myself and my friend Hal tried to find the very same venue as I went to at the beginning of April.

The Cider Hole has been open - and brewing Cider - for what is possibly a year or nine months now - its a fascinating place which when I was told about it's existence I was warned about its restricted opening hours and difficulties to find it open. I popped into the Beer Stop at Dronfield the next day having found the website - " is the Cider Hole Open". It turns out that Luke the owner there helped set up that website and possibly the bar - such as it is - last year.

Interestingly I had looked at that site when planning to visit on a Saturday when they open at 1400 - and then visited on a Friday, arriving at 1430 - two and a half hours before they open!

After a few pints of cask (from the past) in Shakespeares I got back at 1705 and found a sign outside Krynkle - I was their first customer of the day. There was a guy called Ben working behind the tiny bar with two or three barrels of freshly made cider next to it. I know that Cider can have an effect on me - I had just a half pint of Cheddar Valley in the Orchard in Bristol and was quite "discussive" en route back to the hotel. Having already had three pints I opted to try a tasting slate of a third each of the three Sheffield ciders brewed using donated Apples found in Sheffield including (possibly) Crookes and Walkley.

I tried a third each of the Exemption Cider House Cool Neighbours, a 5.5% dry cider, their Ask Albert Dry cider at 6.5% and also their Too many apples, a 5.9% dry blend with notes of tanginess and very refreshing. The apples in the Ask Albert were proivided by Ross on  Wye Cider and was possibly the most traditional of the three tastes.

Having got chatting to a young couple visiting from Nottingham I finished on a bottle of Zapiain Gure Sagardoa Gorenak - a 6.7% still and dry cider from  Astigarraga in the Basque country - and very tasty - if a little tart - it was too. I also got some Oliver's Cider Pomona Blend and a can of Columbian Cider which I hope to share with Hal when I next see her!

Lastly I should mention a chap possibly called Wayne - although, as you may be aware - he could have had one of many thousands of himan male names. I met him in the Crow last week and he told me he was the owner of the bar on Worksop station - the Mallard. I did have to admit that I hadn't been for about ten years - simply because have not been to Worksop for about ten years! I was however pleased to hear that he appreciated my blog! I will hopefully see you soon mate.

So overall, both were excellent venues - I would however advise you that if you are planning on visiting the Cider Hole you check out their website istheciderholeopen before you go since it opens at 1400 on a Saturday and 1700 on Thursday and Friday.  

Your very best of health


Wee Beefy

Friday 18 February 2022

New three counties Tour - with 2


    long time no see....

One of the joys of language is that the title this time reflects the fact that there is only in fact 2 counties in which the pubs are, and also that this is the second tour with just two of us - amazing! Etc....

On Saturday my chum Mr G suggested he came over to Sheffield - as it was pissing it down most of the day I suggested that rather than meet up in town and walk around, he might wish to drive over, pick me up, and go on a tour of Unspoilt pubs, other oubs, and roads. Thankfully he agreed.

I should point out that we had al---ready done a similar undertaking back in January. We started first off in the Black Bulls Head in Openwoodgate - although we got stuck in traffic on the motorway so came off at the Clay Cross tiurning and made our way from there.

Remembering their excellent range of boohars I got Mr G a half and myself A pint of Oakham Green Devil, and we shared a pork pie. In fairness I would also have stopped for a half of DIPA on keg but sadly, sat in the front, a table of youts were busy spouting their inaccuarte antivax nonsense - including hating everyone who worked for the NHS, hating everyone from Manchester and Derby with their diseases, and also the overeaction of everyone wearing a mask. They finished by, when wished goodbye by an elderly couple, b telling them to "fuck off". Impressive. Just the one pint then.....

Next we headed down towards Wirksworth and headed up Wood Lane outside Idridgehay and soon ended up in the Barley Mow at Kirk Ireton - as always an absolute gem, and I had 2 and a half pints of the excellent Whim Hartington IPA.

Next we used the unusually effieicnt Sat Nav to get to the Barley Mow at Bonsall - sadly although it was only 2100 the pub was cleasrly closed so we headed up through Bonsall and Brightgate to the Miners Standard at Winster - a pint of Aldwarke ales for me and a box of eggs followed, before we hedaed home.

On Saturday I decided to start our tour at Axe Edge and head down Dowel Dale past the Buxton Raceway via High Edge. Surprised to see a COVIT HORX scribbling on a sign in an isolated field, and also a lot of rubbish, but as soon as we saw Chrome hill our hearts lifed. Despite some thick mud and water enroute down the dale the road was fine and we came out at Glutton Bridge. Turning into Earl Sterndale we passed the now sadly sorry looking closed Quiet Woman and headed left to Crowdecote and popped in the Pack horse. Sadly ity shut at 1500 ( and it was 1545) so we headed off up to High Needham and then right and right again to Pilsbury Castle and into hartington, ending up at the Manifold Inn at Hulme End.

Its a long time since my last visit, but despite it being primarily a restaurant they still had 4 national real ales on - I had a pint of Pedigree and Mr G a glass of coke. There was only seats just below the telly so we did not hang around long - and given the late time we headed straught to Cauldon for the Yew Tree using Sat Nav.

I have to say that for no specific reason I felt really nervous about asking about the health of Alan East (?) the former landlord? I therefore cannot confirm if he is well. The layout remains the same ( but the room on the far away right is currently closed), and they have also dropped down to a single beer - that said, the 2 pints I had of the Burton Bridge bitter were excellent, and am happy to say that the pork pie I took away was excellent!

Next we headed back into Ashbourbe and wquickly up to Bonsall - this time the Barley Mow was very much open! Having established that we could set up a tab if we had more than one, I chose a pint of Abbeydale pale ale and Mr G a half of the same and we sat in the far corner near the fire. I also had a whole pint of BH brewery ( possibly Black Hole?) pale before we headed off in the dark to get to Elton. 

We arrived at 1930 and found the pub losed - but to be fair I don't think they open until 2030 or 2100? So we headed back out and pulled up round the back of the pub in the centre of Winster where I had a pint and a half of Abbeydale and Mr G a slowly supped glass of coke.

The fact that we managed to get to so many pubs over the two visits was a celebration in itself - although it was sad to miss out on the excellent Duke of York, and equally to see the state of the quiet Woman.

Looking forward to another trip out that way soon!


Wee Beefy

Tuesday 28 December 2021

Craftworks Micropub Mosborough

 Evening all!

     on the 12th of this month I ventured out from luffly Handsworth on the 30a to Mosborough - it was "only" 20 minutes late and it quickly transpired that the driver was partially deaf. This became apparent when he missed a stop mid route, and then when we headed up what may be called Plumbley Lane towards Plumbley as the bus only stops on the way out of Mosborough - as he drove straight past the only stop near the High Street.....

Ten minutes later I was at the Craftworks micropub, just about opposite the Admiral chippy - and I was gobsmacked - not by way of it's size, but mainly because of it's popularity - I had to stand up for the first 2 of my pints! Perhaps I should provide some background.....

I first went drinking in Mosborough in 1992. Back then, almost every pub sold cask from the past. But this trend sadly dwindled, as did the number of pubs staying open in nearby Eckington. The last time I went out in Mosborough I went to firm favourite the Alma which sells one or two real ales - but that was our only stop. I was therefore very happy to see the range of excellence available in the Craftworks.

From a range of 8 or so kegs along with 4 cask ales I started on a pint of Fierce IPA on keg - I was warned how much it would cost, but being keg at less than a pound a percent I was fine with the price - and this is likely the first time have had Fierce on draught anywhere!

I stood near the bar and listened in on the conversations of the locals - and there were many - a quick and thorough check confirmed there was literally nowhere to sit! Sadly the Fierce IPA did not last long so I went back to the Bar to order a half of the Three Hills Fudge Brownie imperial pastry stout, also on keg, and spotted a table whilst I was waiting. Just as this happened a lass came in with her mother so I let them sit down whilst slowly supping the fabulous Three Hills - but eventually asked if I could squeeze on with them - and that was fine.

They said they were regulars - the youngest from Killamarsh and the Mum from Mosborough itself - I didn't chat long with them but once they had gone I grabbed another ale - this time 2 thirds, but am not sure which it was as I did not photograph the beers board alas! By the this time a guy was sat near the stairs playing guitar and the number of guests did not dwindle - I checked the time of the next bus into town and having left at 1715 I was in town before 1800!

So far this remains my only visit - but I will definitely be going back!


Wee Beefy

Monday 29 November 2021

Social to the Royal Cottage.

 Hello all,

            Apologies for the length of time with no blog posts - stuff, never mind things - have happened. Nothing bad I should point out, but still stuff. Not to mention....things.

So using the joy of language, in naming this post as I have I have created an expectation that I organised a trip out to the Royal Cottage. Except I didn't. It's initially quite believable though isn't it?

So on the 19th I was supposed to be meeting up with the wonderful Tash about 1515 for a walk - sadly, this did not happen due to events. So we agreed she would get a bath and head into town later, and meet me there. At this point my lovely new phone had once again stopped recharging, so I headed into town with my old phone, knowing I could use it on Wi-Fi. 

The Social on Snig Hill was my starting place - I had a pint of Serious Bodaceia on cask from the past, along with a pack or two of crisps. When ordering my next at the Bar I asked if they had any WiFi - they said they did, but did not have a password - this explained why , when I checked, neither Tash or Matt had received my messages. After a third of Hophurst DIPA I headed up to High Street, and could not find them.

I thought about popping into the Three Tuns for one but half of it was closed off for a celebration so I headed to my chums at Bar Stewards where I can get onto the WiFi. Here I had a pint of Liquid Light pale - or any other beer, and found I had missed a call from WK. I said he could call me and he suggested that despite it's late notice we could go to the Packhorse at Crowdecote. Having asked Matt and Tash, she was sadly not up to it so WK picked me up after 1800 in his new car, and  hour ten minutes later we were at Crowdecote!

Having ordered food we had a choice of 4 real ales and I went on to two pintts of Storm Milk of Amnesia and a pint of Eyam Golden ale, with Keith on a half of the same. The meal was very enjoyable, although sadly we didn't meet up with the guy who knew my Dad - primarily to confirm his recent passing.

From here we drove up into Longnor - now seemingly supporting just a single pub - and headed across the moors past the mermaid's pool and ahead spotted a light in the difference - stopping soon after we found the unsigned road which leads down the side of the Royal Cottage and to our delight the front light was on!

I will never forget how happy it made us both - the smiles on both our faces - and we parked up directly outside before letting ourselves in. When me and Keith and Carlos had been in the funeral car back in January I had said we ought to pop back to see Cliffe - if nothing else as he would possibly say " a thot tha'd deed". On this occasion,l after saying hello, he simply said " a notice thus only two f yer - whes yer Dad - as ee not med it?". I should point out, that nothing that Cliffe says is ever insulting. It's brusque, yes, but reflective of his location and life. We calmly told him that Wee Fath had been found dead at Christmas.

We only stopped for one in here - a bottle of Old Speckled Hen for me and a bottle of Manns Brown ale for WK. Whilst I was in the loo Cliffe told WK all about his thoughts about the passing of Ken at the Quiet Woman and also how he felt things were progressing at Carl's, the Butcher's at Reapsmoor. Always full of info ais Clifffe, and usually reasonably reliable.

On reflection, its an increasingly sad story re local pubs - two have changed hands and four local hostelries have closed permanently in the last ten years. Thankfully the Ner Inn at Flash and the Packhorse at Crowdecote seem to remain strong, but there's less certainty regarding the Butcjhers and especially the Quiet Woman.

We drove straight home from Cliffe's, arriving back about 22:50 for me, with WK hoping to grab a last drink on Crookes in the Two Sheds. Despite the intention of referencing WF's sad passing, I have to say that this was a very enjoyable night out/

Your very best of health

Wee Beefy